Melbourne coronavirus scare as NSW man who tested positive returned to work at Sydney Woolworths

| 02.07,20. 06:01 PM |

Melbourne coronavirus scare as NSW man who tested positive returned to work at Sydney Woolworths

Fifty staff at the Balmain Woolworths have been told to self-isolate.(AAP Image: Peter Rae)

A Sydney man who spent two weeks in hotel quarantine in Victoria has tested positive for coronavirus after returning to NSW, sparking a crisis at the Woolworths he worked at.

The store in Balmain, in Sydney's inner-west, has told 50 staff to self-isolate, and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard warned anyone who had been to the supermarket to be "alert".

The ABC understands the man had recently returned from Bangladesh and had been quarantining in a Melbourne hotel, where he was deemed not to be infectious despite returning a positive test there.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said not all people who test positive to coronavirus while in quarantine hotels had to stay longer than 14 days.

"If you are symptom-free for 72 hours and it's been at least 10 days since your onset of your symptoms than you are deemed non-infectious," Dr Chant said.

Dr Chant said the man worked in the self-service section of the grocery store and was considered to pose a low level of infection risk.

"The reports from Woolworths was there wasn't really any overcrowding … even though it's quite a compact store."

Dr Chant said the man wore a mask when he travelled from Melbourne to Sydney by plane, but that health authorities would contact passengers seated near him as a precaution
Fifty staff at the Balmain Woolworths have been told to self-isolate.(AAP Image: Peter Rae)

The incident comes amid escalating concerns about several coronavirus outbreaks in Melbourne, and an inquiry launched by the Victorian Government into the way quarantine hotels had been managed.

This morning, train and plane passengers from Victoria were screened on arrival in NSW.

Mr Hazzard blasted a traveller who took the train from Melbourne to Sydney despite having COVID-19 symptoms and being swabbed for the virus.

His results had not yet been returned.

"Now, that's about as silly as it gets," Mr Hazzard said.

New health orders issued by the NSW Government came into effect at midnight, with people facing jail or fines if they travel north of the border from any of the Victorian hotspots.

Mr Hazzard said any travellers who "thumb their nose" at the public health order could be fined up to $11,000 and jailed for up to six months.

Suburbs under stay-at-home orders from Thursday

"His employer, a manager in the store, asked him to have another test because he obviously had some sort of symptoms and that test has come back positive," he said.

"We've got to work on the basis that it's positive, although sometimes these come back to be false positives, but right now we have to work on the basis that it's a positive."


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